Sunday, July 25, 2010

Album Review: Kelis "Flesh Tone"

Known for her unique sense of style, Kelis has never been one to stick with one look for too long & her music has followed suit. After exploring the many sounds of the R&B world, from the sultry to the rock-leaning, the new mother took to a more timely dance sound for her fifth studio album Flesh Tone. While dance music isn't my personal favorite, this is Kelis we're talking about & if anybody can transition from one style to another while maintaining a sense of authenticity, it's her.

"Intro": This gives the listener a good indication as to what they can expect from the album & is a decent track all around, however... 4/5

"22nd Century": I'd say this would've been a perfectly fitting introduction to Flesh Tone. I mean, "Welcome to the 22nd century... everybody's dancin'"..? She certainly does her thing here. 4.5/5

"4th Of July (Fireworks)": This is another solid track. I wanna take this opportunity though to address the segues that appear at the end of every track in the middle of the album expect "Scream". While they serve their purpose fine, I find them mostly unnecessary, as every song basically has the same beat & they would all pretty much flow together by themselves. What really bothers me about the segues though is that they often differ from the track they accompany so vastly that it almost takes away from the listening experience. 4.5/5

"Home": She pretty much perfects the direction she's going for with this project here. 5/5

"Acapella": The lead single is personal lyrically, which I can appreciate, but it's far from the best song on the album. It's alright though. 4/5

"Scream": Another decent one, but as much as I'm trying to judge this disc solely as a dance album as opposed to comparing it to R&B efforts that I might prefer, the talking is rather cheesy. 4/5

"Emancipate": The repetitive yelling during the chorus bugs me a bit, but as a whole, it's not bad because this album is a really good one to listen to from beginning to end without skipping any tracks. 3.5/5

"Brave": Pretty sure this is my favorite track on the album. 5/5

"Song For The Baby": A sweet track & perfect ending to the album. 4/5

What appeals most to me about Flesh Tone is that Kelis' voice fits in so well with the dance sound. She also makes really good dance music--or at least the kind that makes an R&B fan want to listen. Would I say that I personally prefer this to her last effort Kelis Was Here? Nah. And the fact that Flesh Tone has nine tracks (half as many as Kelis Was Here) isn't my favorite part about the album, but for creativity's sake & since the album works so well as a whole that you forget how few tracks there actually are, I'm willing to forgive this time. At the end of the day, Kelis is in a happy place making this kind of music right now & she does everything she tries very well, so I'm happy too.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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